National Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month
The month of September was designated as “National Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month” in 1983, 26 years of designation. However, sickle cell anemia has plagued many lives for years. Sickle cell anemia is a blood disorder that affects many in the world.
I am one of those many that it affects. Even though I have had my share of crisis with this disease. I created a motto for myself many years ago. “I have the disease, but the disease does not have me!” I have lived many years with that statement as my daily encouragement. But I could not have made it thus far without the love of God and the love of my immediate family and my SCA family.
As a busy professional, life can become a little hectic and can be very taxing on the body. However, I have learned over the years to listen to my body and my doctor. My life trials with this disease have helped myself as well as others. I take my life’s journey with this disease and share it with others who are fighting or fighting this disease with a loved one.
Still to this day there are so many people that do not have knowledge of this disease. It is not left up to just health professionals to educate others on the disease; as a defier it is us up to me to share my life with others that suffer from the disease as well as family members who are fighting alongside their love one. However, I am just one person it is going to take all of us as friends, as families, as a group as a whole to make this happen.
Most who know me, know that I am a very private person. However, this chapter in my life is an open chapter to the world. Some people want to ask me questions about it, but are scared to ask. Most say, “Well I am sure it is something that bothers you to talk about to others.” But my answer is, “ask me anything about the disease, for this is small contribution of educating others about the disease.” Also it helps someone else that may be dealing with something that I have already faced and conquered. My testimony may just be the foot-stool of hope to someone else.
So this month I challenge you to give hope to someone with sickle cell anemia by:
* Giving a donation to your local Sickle Cell Association (financial donations are tax deductable)
* Donate blood to your nearest blood bank
Also I challenge you to empower yourself with knowledge of this disease. Together, we are a multitude.
I would like to share this poem that I wrote six years ago:
Life Endured But Not Denied
Living, hurting, confused and sad….feelings that have all been rolled up in to three words
Sickle Cell Anemia
What is this I wondered? Will I live to have children? Will I live to see my children grow up?
Will I live my life to the fullest? All those questions that filled my head, as I lay there in that hospital bed.
Pain and fever stricken body, lump in my throat, pain in my legs, and anxiety all in my head.
After all the pokes, tubes of blood, and intravenous pain induced drugs. Again the questions began to fill my head.
Is this something so big that will control my life forever? How can I get beyond this? Rise above it all? And get out of this hospital bed.
As I closed my eyes, and began to cry I heard a small voice that said “you will be fine my child”
From time to time I could not believe what my friend had said to me. But every time I overcame the test and trials of my once dreaded abnormality.
Just those simple words gave me strength to go on. Removing the hurt, the confusion and sadness.
Leaving me with living, healing, understanding, and happiness.
And not least to forget, two handsome children and a wonderful husband.
Finally understanding that my friend and I are much bigger than it.